My Favorites

If you haven’t had a chance to test the full range of Dr. Bronner’s scents, you may be missing out on your favorite. I am well aware that I have the advantage of having the complete line of products at my fingertips, but in a sense, you do too. Our webstore is available and offers free shipping with a minimum order of $20. You can order the range of 2 oz. bottles to try them all out. I almost exclusively use the liquid, but that is only a matter of personal preference. My husband and son both like the bars for body and hair. For the ones I use the most, I keep a gallon on hand to refill my 8 oz. bottles.

So here’s all the fragrances and where you’d find them in my house:*

  • Almond: My shower. This is my all around favorite. I use this in the shower for my hair and body. It is also in my bathroom’s foaming pump dispensers.
  • Tea Tree: All bathrooms and Laundry room. I use this on my face since I have acne prone skin. Works fabulously to clear up problem skin. I also use it in my kids’ foaming pump dispensers for its extra antibacterial boost. It’s mostly what I use in my all purpose spray and bathroom cleaners.
  • Citrus: Kitchen and Laundry Room! This is my second favorite scent after the almond. I love this in my kitchen foaming pump dispenser. It also is great for cleaning my stainless steel kitchen sink. And if I ever ran out of the almond, I would use this in the shower. I use the citrus in the laundry when I run out of Sal Suds, and it’s my back up for the Tea Tree in my all purpose spray and bathroom cleaners.
  • Peppermint: Bathroom cabinet. It’s a little strong for my every day shower, but great after a hot day working in the yard. We use it on the dogs, too.
  • Eucalyptus: Bathroom cabinet. This is a back-up for the tea tree. Before we made the tea tree, this was the best soap for problem skin, and what I would use on my face if I ran out of tea tree. Also used on the dogs.
  • Lavender: Kid’s bathroom. It’s their primary bath soap because it smells great (it’s a spicy smell more than a floral smell) and is calming in the evenings before bedtime.
  • Rose: Guest bath. It’s a little sweet for me, but it makes a really welcoming guest soap.
  • Baby Mild: Kid’s bathroom. In the wintertime their skin gets super chapped. The extra olive oil in the Baby Mild is very soothing and healing. When my baby was a newborn, this is what I used for bathtime until I knew her skin was not sensitive to the lavender. I also use for my insecticidal soap spray since it doesn’t flavor the herbs and vegetables.

*Disclaimer: These are my preferences only! I know I’m in the vast minority with my Peppermint opinion since it’s our number one selling product by far! Feel free to share your preferences and what you use them for.

40 thoughts on “My Favorites

  1. I just came across your blog, love it. My husband and I are always after some new tips, and we love your soaps, they are fabulous. I hadn’t thought about breaking down the different scents for different rooms like that…great idea.

  2. I just read your blog and love it! I share many of your preferences, so I’m going to try more. I also use almond soap in the shower, but do use my husband’s peppermint on my feet. I mixed up your all-purpose cleaner this morning and used it to clean the bathroom. It was the best! It worked better on a low spot in my bathtub that grows red stuff better than anything except bleach! And without being toxic. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I’m curious if you use any of the soap solutions to control spiders in the house? I live in a wooded area and am renting so I don’t want to alter the house. There are lots of nooks and crannies that they may be entering through as well as windows and doorways as I don’t have screens. I like fresh air so I have them open quite often. I thought if I could spray some type of citrus or tea tree solution around entry areas, windows, and base boards to keep them out? I want to use natural products but mild enough so they don’t dry out or discolor wood floors. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have used the lavender soap and is wonderful. Thanks!

  4. Lisa-
    Enjoyed your blog. I use the peppermint soap during all seasons. I just love the smell and freshness.

  5. Hi Amy,

    Here are a few thoughts about spiders, from my own experience plus some vicarious:
    1. Spiders are more an indication of other, more problematic pests (which spiders eat), rather than being bad in their own right. Except for the black widows and brown recluses, spiders are not harmful – only creepy to some. (I like spiders because they keep the bugs off my tomato plants.)
    2. Like other critters with exoskeletons, spiders would be killed by contact with castile soap.
    3. Like most animals other than humans, they can be deterred by mint, so try rubbing some peppermint essential oil around your sills and door jambs. Without screens, though, you’re definitely going to have some visitors.

    Hope this helps!
    Lisa

  6. Hi Lisa! Just a quick question on the foaming pump dispensers. Do you just buy them somewhere and than dilute the soap solution?

    Thanks!

  7. I recently bought several “flavors” and this post was very helpful.
    I’m curious about the foaming pump dispensers. Especially since on the label they recommend NO using pump dispensers.
    What type of foaming pump dispensers do you use and where did you get them?

    Thanks muchly.

  8. I have a question. Has the Bronner company changed something about the lavender Dr. Bronner soap? The last one we bought had a very different, stronger smell to it. When I use it, it is somewhat irritating (I use it diluted). It’s almost like there is peppermint in it as well as lavender. I did notice that the purple color on the label was a different shade–hence I thought it might be a different formula or something. I’ll switch to a different scent, but I’m sad since I love lavender! Thanks for any input.

  9. questions please
    In this blog…you said you put the Almond liquid soap in your foam soap dispensers in your bathrooms?
    I currently am using full strngth Dr. Bronners liquid soap in a regular pump dispenser in kitchen and bathrooms.
    Did you dilute the soap before putting it into your foam dispensers?
    where did you get the foam dispensers or did you re-use a comercial/brand foam soap dispenser? many thanks for the answers.

  10. Hi All!

    We still do not recommend putting the castile soap in any regular pump dispenser. It will always clog and shoot out in unexpected directions, possibly into your face. You can, however, use it in a foaming pump dispenser at a ratio of about 1 part soap to 5 parts water. I have reused foaming dispensers and I have used a new one that my sister-in-law bought me from Pampered Chef.

    However, because of the danger of putting the soap in regular pump dispensers, and the unfortunate potential (and history) for lawsuits, we aren’t changing our wording about pumps on the labels or the website. Directions about foamers will have to spread by word of mouth.

    -Lisa

  11. Hey, Deb,

    We haven’t changed the formula for any of the soaps, but the scents do change because of the nature of botanical ingredients. The climate in the growing region has a great effect on the outcome of the scent of lavender in particular. If the weather is different than normal – wetter, colder, hotter, drier, windier, etc. – the scent changes and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. I know what you mean about it sometimes being a bit spicier, more like the peppermint. Because we only buy certified organic oil, and we need a lot of it, there aren’t a whole lot of sources for us.

    The change in the color of the label was just a change we made in printers. Also, sometimes the bottles are silk-screened and sometimes it’s a label that sticks on.

    We do gaurantee our products, so if there’s something you’re not happy with, email my sister-in-law Erin at info@drbronner.com and she’ll be quick to help you.

    -Lisa

  12. I just bought my first bottle of the mild baby soap tonight and put it in an old foaming pump dispenser with water. It worked GREAT for my kids in the shower. I told my oldest one pump for his hair and one (or two depending on how dirty he is) for his body. We were wasting SO much “soap” before but this is working great. Thanks for all your tips!!

  13. I love diluting Dr. B’s soaps in foamer bottles around the house! You can get them for pretty cheap at PureBodySolutions.com (only $3 for 8 oz. pump bottle). It makes for great hand soap and a little Dr. B’s goes a long way!

  14. Is there anything I can mix the liquid soap with to make it work in a pump dispenser? I have a beautiful dispenser to use in my new powder room, brass and glass with a satin nickel finish. I want to use the Dr. B’s but I cannot find a decorative foaming pump dispenser. Anything that might thicken the liquid soap so that it won’t clog? Also, what are the actual dilutions of the all-purpose cleaner and of the foaming soaps? I tend to use 10:1 water to soap in my foaming dispensers. I am curious about the all-purpose cleaner though.
    Thanks so much,
    Paula

    • @ Paula – The question that keeps coming back! No, there is nothing you can add to the pure castile soap that will make it work in a regular pump dispenser. It can’t be thickened naturally or organically, and it will always clog and shoot out sideways on your unsuspecting guests. This is one of the main reasons the Shikakai soaps were created. I keep my decorative pump dispenser filled with that and it works great.

      For the all purpose Castile soap spray, use 1/4 c. soap in a quart of water. With the Sal Suds spray, use 1/2 Tbsp. of Sal Suds in a quart of water. With foaming pump dispensers, it depends on your pump and the type of water. I’ve heard all sorts of different ratios. Play around with it until you get the consistency of foam that you like. Because of the issues that can come up with the castile soaps in any kind of dispensers, we don’t wholeheartedly recommend them.

      Let me know if you have further questions!
      Lisa

  15. Hi..I ran out of the Peppermint Castile soap about 2 years ago..started using up old soaps that I still had around and then finally, I went out and bought the large bottle of soap..I cannot believe how THIN this is now..it used to be much thicker.I have to use more soap than before..If you didn’t dilute it, I am starting to think maybe someone switched the liquid and returned the Dr. Bronner’s bottle to the store!

    • @Sharon – I’m very glad you shared this concern. The soap is lighter than it was before since now we use colorless but more effective vitamin E (tocopherols) and not dark brown rosemary, and the viscosity is a little different because of a higher olive oil content (and less coconut oil, which is thicker), but the soap is just as concentrated as it was before at 39% solid. Absolutely no dilution has occurred. You can determine this by pouring similar quantities of our older conventional and newer organic liquid soaps into separate cups, and observing that exactly the same amount of solid soap is left behind when the water evaporates. All in all, the integrity of our soaps is higher than they have ever been. We have now converted all of our oils to organic oils, which means that we are supporting lots of sustainable farming and farm-worker health now. The cost to us has been tremendous, but we felt the earth was definitely worth it. Besides, this was an endeavor my grandfather would definitely have supported if he were alive today.

      I hope these explanations have helped, but please let me know if you have any further questions.

      All the best,
      Lisa

  16. I have only recently discover Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and start using it to make foaming hand soap with a used foaming soap pump with a clear bottle. It seems to me that the color turned darker over time as if it has turned bad. I thought I will try to add some lemon juice to it and hope to prevent it and then, of course, it turned milky. Then, I googled about it and found your blog and learn that they shouldn’t be mixed together.

    Does the color change over time for you? Is there a way to prevent it? Is there anything safe to add to the mix to give it a splash of color (or to mask the darkening of color)?

  17. Hi Venus – I’m glad you found me! I haven’t found that the soap turns darker when diluted in a foaming dispenser. If anything, it is a bit lighter. My household goes through a dispenser every couple of weeks, so my solution isn’t in there very long. If your solution is sitting for several months, it is quite possible that it has turned rancid. If it were rancid, it would also smell bad and not clean well. The shelf life of the soap is at least 3 years, but when you dilute it, you are also diluting the preservative (tocopherols, or vitamin E).

    However, if the soap is still working great and smells good, then the difference is only in how it looks. You are welcome to put a coloring in the solution if you’d like. A couple drops of vegetable food coloring could be pretty fun! I can envision how much my little girl would enjoy pink foam coming out of the soap dispenser.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  18. Thanks a lot, Lisa. I don’t think the soap last more than a month but, perhaps, I did not get the dispenser cleaned the last time.

    After this lemon juice episode, however, I did have it cleaned as best as I thought (the lemon juice and soap mixture has formed some very greasy curds…) This time, when I add the soap to just water, the mixture turned a little milky still, not as much as with the lemon juice. I wonder if it has anything to do with our very hard water or just that I still haven’t had the dispenser clean well enough. It seems to be working well though. So, I will wait and see how it goes this time.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Hi Venus – The milkiness sounds exactly like a hard water reaction. The soap will still work great even in the hard water.

      Hi Gwen – I took a look at this dispenser, and the Dr. Bronner’s castile will probably work in it. Not having tried it, I can’t say for certain, but in theory it should. You might have to experiment with the dilution amounts.

      Hi Tia – Hydrosols are basically a tea, where botanicals (plants) have been steeped in the water. It is fine to dilute the water with this, but bear in mind that if the plants are not organic, you may also get residues for anything that may be on them. Also, they may reduce the shelf life of the solution. However, I think it’s great to try things out and see how it goes. Let me know! Regarding adding your own essential oils to the Baby Mild soap, that is a great thing to do. You will find that the oils will separate and float to the top of the soap, so just shake it up before each use. This is a great way to personalize your soap.

      Let me know if I can help with anything else!

      All the best,
      Lisa

  19. Hi!

    What do you think about using hydrosols/flower waters to dilute the liquid soaps for use in a foaming cleanser? Also, when using the baby mild formula (for myself), is it okay to add other oils/essential oils to the formula or would it compromise its efficacy?

  20. Love your products. But I have noticed a sad thing. Your bottle caps have a larger hole now. And, since you changed your formulas, the viscosity is different. The result? We use more product. This is a sad thing.

    For those of you that want to save soap, take a wax-paper cup bottom, and cut it to fit the inside of the cap, and place a tiny hole in it. This will act as a “governor” to slow down the flow of the soap going through the hole.

    Not sure if this was a bean-counter decision or an oversight, but the result is wasted product.

  21. Hi Merlin – The cap hole size change is a sad thing, and there is a sad reason. As you’ve probably experienced, if our soaps are left open, or even just after many uses, the hole can clog up completely. Some users were squeezing the bottle really hard in order to force the soap out, instead of removing the cap and clearing out the hole. Oftentimes, this resulted in the soap’s shooting out in unexpected directions, including into people’s eyes. Because of the irritation they experienced when this happened, several of these customers then sued us for damages. While their cases were not successful, they still required time and resources on our part to combat them. Therefore, for liability reasons, we made the decision to increase the size of the hole in the cap. I know that for careful users such as yourself, this is not a good change. It sounds like you have developed an excellent adaptation.

    The viscosity of the castile soap is a little different because of a higher olive oil content, but the soap is just as concentrated as it was before at 39% solid. Absolutely no dilution has occurred. You can determine this by pouring similar quantities of our older conventional and newer organic liquid soaps into separate cups, and observing that exactly the same amount of solid soap is left behind when the water evaporates.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  22. I would just like to thank you for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions.

    Taking your advice, I use the tea tree soap in a foaming dispenser as a facial cleanser and hand wash next to my sink. In the shower I use the peppermint or eucalyptus as a body wash and shampoo. My hair has never been better and I could not be happier with my purchase. Thank you for your kindness and superb product!

  23. Hi Michael – Thank you so much for taking the time to share this! I’m glad Dr. Bronner’s has become a part of your life.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  24. Hi Lisa,
    I have stumbled upon your soaps and it has been the best change I have made in a long time! First off, thank you to you and yours for your great work!
    I, my husband and kids are currently using your bar soap. Tea tree for myself and husband due to a little acne, and the peppermint for my kids. I want to order some stuff to get all the other cleaning agents out of my home, but am on a close budget! I have noticed it is a bit exspensive using the bar soaps with kids, so am looking into a foam despenser for each shower.I think this will save money if I buy the castile and just dilute. I have been alternating between these two soaps because of the tea tree making me a bit dry. Also, I think I am going to switch to the baby soap for my kids, cause I noticed my son getting a little rash. I don’t think this is from the soap, but I just want to be safe! I am a little confused on where to start? If you have any suggestions please let me know? I printed out your dilution sheets and am just wondering which basic soaps should I start with?

  25. Hi Agricola – Glad to hear you’re turning green! It’s a lovely color. For cleaning around the house, one soap to start with would be the Citrus Castile Soap. I really like this soap for bathing as well, but if I had to pick one for the house, it would be this. All the castiles are the same formula, except for the essential oils added for scent, and the unscented Baby Mild has a higher olive oil content.

    To get started, one bottle of soap, some spray bottles, water, and vinegar will get you going. Add some baking soda and some tea tree essential oil and you’ll be even farther. If you can spring for a few microfiber clothes (not necessary but very helpful if you can), that would top it all off.

    Take it easy as you make the transition! Let me know if you have any questions.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  26. Thanks so much Lisa,
    I am so excited to start this! I am going to make an order asap:)

  27. We have recently switched all our soaps at our Inn to Dr.Bronners. I am using the 8oz bottles and would like to put foaming dispenser pumps on them. Can you tell me what ml. size dispenser pump the 8oz bottle takes. Love this soap!!!

  28. Hi
    I’ve just recently bought Dr bronners tea tree oil 32 oz and was excited to use it on my hair and body. Im not sure what its suppose to smell like, but it has a faint hint of tea tree oil smell, not a strong smell. After using it on my hair, it leaves a strong oil smell, im not sure what kind of oil smell, but it smell as though my hair smell greasy/vomit smell. Is this normal?Is it rancid?Is there a date somewhere to determine the shelf life? thanks

  29. I hope my late responses here are still helpful! I do apologize.

    Marci – I don’t know what kind of foaming pump dispenser would fit directly on to the 8 oz. bottle. We absolutely discourage traditional pump dispensers, but I do transfer mine to a foaming pump.

    Ann – I’m so sorry I didn’t see your question sooner. I hope you perhaps wrote to our customer service department via our website at info@drbronner.com. There is a Julian date printed on the bottle. It is in the lot code – the first four numbers. The first number indicates the year of production, the next three numbers indicate the day of the year out of 365. If you send me the number, I can tell you when it was made. The soap has at least a three year shelf life, but often much longer. No, it is not normal for your hair to smell like greasy/vomit. The soap on the hair is successful with our Citrus Hair Rinse, except in small cases where people with certain hair texture, or really short hair can use it by itself. If you’d like, let me know if I can be of further help.

    Susan – This blog I wrote http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=1127 covers a lot of the most common uses and dilutions. Let me know if there’s another use you’re curious about that’s not on there.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  30. Great blog – glad I found it!

    I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s for years – I love it! I dilute it 10:1 in my foaming dispensers – I get a nice rich lather, and they’ve never clogged up. I know that you discourage the use of the liquid soap in regular dispensers – I haven’t tried it yet, but I ran across this: http://www.amazon.com/soap-dispenser-Dr-Bronner/forum/Fx3L0BHZWJJTUNC/Tx1ERHXJYWL1QKP/1?asin=B0000533G7 – the first comment states that she uses it in regular dispensers 3:1 with a tsp of glycerin added. Now that my Shikakai bottle is almost empty, I’ll try re-filling it that way (at my own risk! :) ) – I’ll let you know how the experiment goes. Also, your regular liquid soaps specifically state “retained glycerin” on the label, but the Shikakai does not – does the Shikakai soap formula contain glycerin?

    Thanks!

  31. Hi Karena – Both the pure castile and the Shikakai have the retained glycerin. I don’t know why some bottles say it and others don’t. Currently our website doesn’t mention it on either one. Technically, it is not an added ingredient since it is a natural byproduct of making soap from oil. Glycerin is part of the soap molecule, and we don’t siphon it off. I apologize for that confusion in the labeling. I’ll be looking into it.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  32. Just a follow-up, for what it’s worth: I have now finished a full bottle of the liquid soap in a re-used Shikakai bottle using the recipe that I linked to above – I never had any nozzle accumulation or blow-outs of my soap. I would consider the bottle experiment/recipe a cautious success, but it was still very thin – I think I will add more glycerine next time and see how that goes.

  33. Hi,

    I love the idea of using Dr. Bronner’s to refill foaming pump dispensers. My concern is with the soap going bad once water is added to it. Would adding a capsule of vitamin E to each batch solve that possible problem?

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